top of page
  • Writer's pictureErin

Pasta Pie

Hungry for more? This recipe was featured in a podcast episode!


A baked pie containing penne pasta with a rich besciamella sauce and tomato sauce with a pi symbol on the top of the crust.

This recipe takes it over the top! If you are in need of ALL THE CARBS, this is the pie for you! We've got a penne pasta with a rich besciamella sauce and homemade tomato sauce that is all baked inside a sweet lemony crust. A slice of this will get you carb-loaded for your next ultra-marathon or just keep your belly happy on a cold winter's night.

Prep Time: 2 - 3 hr

Cook time: 30 min

Serves: 6-8



  • 2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold or frozen

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest

Tomato Sauce

  • 28-oz diced plum tomatoes, canned or fresh

  • 2 tsp tomato paste

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 sweet onion, finely diced

  • 2 celery stalks, chopped

  • salt & pepper

  • 4 tbsp olive oil

  • 3/4 lb ground beef

  • 1/2 cup red wine

  • 1 tbsp butter

Besciamella Sauce

  • 3 tbsp butter

  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup half-and-half cream

  • salt and pepper

  • pinch nutmeg

Final Assembly

  • 1/2 lb penne pasta - cooked al dente and cooled

  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

  • 1 egg, beaten



  1. Combine flour, sugar and salt. Using a box grater, grate the unsalted butter into the dry ingredients and mix together to evenly distribute the cold, grated butter.

  2. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the eggs and lemon zest.

  3. Bring together the wet and dry ingredients with a fork. When crumbly, use your hands to complete the dough and shape it into a ball. Flatten slightly and wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 min.

Tomato Sauce

  1. In a large saucepan, combine tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, onion, celery, salt, pepper and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Cook over medium heat for 15 min, until the vegetables break down and soften.

  2. Place a large mesh sieve over a bowl. Pour the cooked vegetables into the sieve. Use a rubber spatula to press the cooked veggies into the sieve to extract all the liquid, leaving behind the skins and seeds which you can discard.

  3. In the large saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat and add the ground meat. While cooking the meat, break it up with a wooden spoon and cook until it is about half-cooked and changing colour.

  4. Add in the vegetable liquid and wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 min. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add butter just before serving, allowing it to meld and be fully stirred in.

Besciamella Sauce

  1. Begin by melting the butter in a small saucepan. Once it has mostly melted, add in the flour and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter has browned and smells nutty.

  2. Whisk in the cream, stirring constantly. Reduce heat as needed and simmer until thick and smooth. Season with salt and pepper and finish with a pinch of nutmeg. Remove from heat.

Final Assembly

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Then bring the dough out of the refrigerator and divide into 2/3 and 1/3. Roll out the larger piece to fit the bottom of a 9-inch pie dish.

  2. Mix together the cooked and cooled penne pasta with the tomato sauce. Transfer the pasta into the dough-lined pie dish.

  3. Pour the besciamella sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with the grated parmesan cheese.

  4. Roll out the smaller piece of dough to cover the top of the pastry and press the crusts together using a fork. Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg and bake for 30 min or until the crust browns.

  5. Remove from the oven an allow to sit for 5-10 min before cutting into wedges and serving.

Zhuzh it up!

  • This pie is A LOT! If you want to bring down the richness, omit the besciamella sauce and you'll still please the carb-lovers in your life.

  • This tomato sauce is so delicious. Putting it through a sieve is time consuming, but totally worth it. Work in small batches and rinse the sieve in between batches to make it a little more manageable. Consider making it for any pasta and then bragging that you made it from scratch to all your adoring fans!

This amazing recipe was written by Joe Famularo. Find it in his cookbook: A Cooks Tour of Italy.


Related Posts

See All


bottom of page